Dalun is a polytheistic world. The pantheon of Dalun is made up of gods that represent forces or major ideals. While not every person in Dalun prays to each god, most recognize that they all play some role in their lives.
The people of Dalun will pray to the gods out of respect, need, desire, or any other reason. The gods tend to reward the faithful with the powers or blessings appropriate to their portfolio. For instance Awgus, the goddess of the sea, will reward sailors with safe passage and favorable weather if they pay their respects before setting sail. However, should the crew or its captain have disrespected or dishonored Zalaj, god of the skies, then perhaps the sea will stay calm, but a terrible lighting storm might blow through.
Of course two soldiers of two different armies will both likely pray to Gahn’on for favor in battle against each other, Gahn’on will only confer his blessings on the soldier who truly embodies the principles of the Father of Combat. Or perhaps Gahn’on will grant blessings to both warriors and see who is the greater.
The gods may also test the faith of their followers by intentionally ignoring pleas for help or by making certain tasks or quests more difficult. These tests are rare, but often lead to great reward should the faithful prove successful. Most commonly these test are issued to followers who only come to their deity during times of need. The gods of Dalun can be very giving, but they also require thanks for their favor. In some cases the gods may test one of their devoted because they feel they are ready for greater power or responsibility.
When two different followers of two different deities pray for strength in a contest of wills then a true battle of faith is joined. It cannot be said with certainty how the gods resolve these conflicts, but conviction in one’s cause and having truth faith will heavily impact the outcome.
The gods are easily angered when a follower grossly violates the tenets of their faith. Cursing the names of the gods usually isn’t enough to be smote on the spot, but certain blasphemous acts may draw the ire of the gods. Religious warriors must be careful when they defeat a foe, for if they dishonor the burial rites, or much worse, dismember or defile the corpse in some way, then the gods will most certainly take note.
Most gods will not see the destruction or defacing of their holy sites or relics favorably, but only the most vengeful and spiteful of gods will immediately intervene with divine retribution. Oftentimes the name or whereabouts of a heretic will enter the thoughts or prayer of a powerful cleric or head priest, who then may issue crusade against this enemy of the church.
The gods work in mysterious ways. While there is no standard or expectation when it comes to the wrath of gods; it usually pays to respect the ways of even your enemy.
Order of the Gods
There are many divine powers of the cosmos and through the ages their mortal followers have recognized which gods are of greater power and which hold lower rank in the kingdoms of heaven and hell. Typically the order of the gods rank from demigod, to god, to chief god. For the most part the gods are either good or evil, however a number of the gods do not necessarily identify as good or evil, but instead favor the distinction between law and chaos.
The Benevolent Deities
Iess – Chief among the Benevolent Ones, god of Life, embodies peace, truth, the growth of all animals, plants, & peoples, the natural cycle of life into death, and the destruction of all forms of undeath.
Le’vyria – Goddess of Fortune, embodies cunning, resourcefulness, helping without reason, spontaneous acts of good, making your own luck, and giving hope to others.
Nayius – God of Justice, embodies glory through deeds & heroic action, honor, respect, tradition, defense of the weak, and the defeat of evil.
Millis – Demigoddess of Prosperity, embodies health, trade & commerce, recovery, defense of one’s family and home, hunting & farming, fertility, bounty, and the harvest, wealth, and success of life’s goals. Serves Iess in His duties.
Paelus – Demigod of Protection, embodies sheltering those in need, the organization & defense of the people, magical & mundane armor, preservation of the self as well as history and art. Serves Nayius in His duties.
Plaekios – Demigod of Courage, embodies liberty, standing up for oneself and others, resisting tyranny, defying corruption and taking the fight to the enemy. Serves Nayius in his duties.
Yhul – Demigod of Healing, embodies empathy, sincerity, charity, care for the sick, concern for one’s neighbors, and avenging the wronged. Serves Iess in His duties.
The Impartial Deities
Aldayaun – God of Destiny, embodies self-fulfillment, work ethic, travel, self-discovery and “finding one’s place in the world,” staying focused on important tasks, and achieving greatness.
Awgus – Goddess of Water, embodies change, boldness of action and “seizing the moment,” the moon, rain, water-magic, the spring season, skillfulness, craftiness, and athleticism.
Everal – God of Knowledge, embodies understanding, philosophy, uncovering mysteries, publishing truths and spreading lore, providing intellectual aid, and mediating arguments.
Gahn’on – God of War, embodies brotherhood, teamwork, fairness, honor on the battlefield, leadership, strategy & tactics, observing the rules of engagement, and respecting one’s foe.
Gra’uk – God of Stone, embodies fortitude, hardiness, plants & animals, the earth & soil, the fall season, mining, craftsmanship, gem cutting, earth-magic, being level headed, thoughtfulness and respectfulness.
Irrick – God of Magic, embodies innovation, yet restraint and humility, discovery of new spells, the appropriate use of magic, spreading awareness of magic, both beneficial and baneful.
Pyron – God of Fire, embodies light, warmth, the sun & time, the summer season, tenacity of life, the forge & metalworking, determination, and getting even.
Zalaj – God of Air, embodies storms, lightning and wind, monsoons, the sky, the winter season, the moon and stars, secrets and mystery, speed & swiftness, invisibility & stealth, subtlety of word and hand.
Zerathok – God of Mysticism, embodies the mind, sanity & insanity, dreams, creativity, desire and ambitions, intuition, personality and sociability.
Chauntil – Demigoddess of Love, embodies compassion, loyalty, family, appreciation of art, theater, and music, adventure and thrill-seeking as well as having passion for what one does.
Dwayall – Demigod of Joy, embodies relaxation, getting along, camaraderie, friendship, trust in your allies, drinking, cooking and feasting, games, riddles, jokes and story-telling.
Ravus – Demigod of Sorrow, embodies discontent with the world, dark inspirations, memory and grief, sympathy and “bearing the weight of the world’s burdens.”
Yanner – Demigod of Combat, embodies competition, boldness, hastiludes: tournaments, jousts, & melees, the idea of “might makes right,” and “to the victor go the spoils.”
The Malevolent Deities
Zethos – Chief god of the Malevolent Ones, god of Death, embodies murder, the killing of animals, decay, the undead, cannibalism, superiority and hubris, and stealing souls from their apportioned afterlife.
Kavok – God of Suffering, embodies oppression, tyranny over the weak, control of the masses, physical pain and beatings, self-flagellation & masochism, pain tolerance, and the fall of good.
Thaygoul – God of Misfortune, embodies thievery, greed & jealousy, anarchy, superstition, gambling, taking risks, witchcraft and sacrificial rituals.
Dranoth – Demigod of Revenge, embodies hate for the good and retribution upon the righteous, suffering and death to the weak, the utter defeat of heroes and the end of that which is right. Serves no one.
Hekos – Demigod of Destruction, embodies torture, rape, plague & pestilence, addiction, natural disasters, the failure of heroes and the ruination of all things beautiful and good. Serves Zethos in His duties.
Kaelon – Demigod of Hatred, embodies anger, naked aggression, blood-lust, cruelty, random and open hostility, lack of all other “weaker” emotions. Serves Kavok in His duties.
Xynkias – Demigod of Fear, embodies corruption, deceit, and betrayal, poison, nightmares & night-terrors, cowardice, self-preservation, selfishness, mistrust, and sociopathy. Serves Zethos in His duties.
The gods and their followers recognize that oftentimes their motivations align and thus many allegiances are formed in the ephemeral contest over Dalun that the gods engage themselves in. A group of like-minded followers of differing gods may form churches, nomadic bands, cults, knight orders, or virtually any other type of association. The alliance of such followers typically share the teachings of a select group of religious texts and blend their wisdom to create a unique purpose or achieve a specific aim. These different groups vary in size and function, but in game terms this means cleric PCs may choose to belong to a certain religious order instead of worshiping a single deity. This presents them with alternate domain selection choices as well as additional role playing considerations. To belong to a one of these joint religious orders the cleric’s alignment must match the order he wishes to join, instead of being one step away as usual. Occasionally members of certain religious orders are excommunicated, banned, or voluntarily leave. In this case treat the character as an ex-cleric just as if they had violated the code of their patron deity as per the Player’s Handbook, page 33.
The Holy Vindication – fanatical holy warriors who have joined forces to hunt down and destroy the evil creatures of Dalun, particularly those who have transgressed against the good.
Lightbearers of the Heavens – a traveling band of stalwart heroes who devote themselves to the destruction of the undead and strive for the preservation of life.
The Elements – the union of the primal forces of Dalun; earth, wind, fire, and water.
Ordo Magus – a collection of scholars, mages, and other highly-educated types who strive for enlightenment through the use of magic, lore, pursuing legends, and resolving myths.
Emissaries of the Dead – a dour collection of priests who observe strict burial rites for all slain beings, commune with the spirits of the dead, as well as returning the undead to death.